Oceanside CA— 15 year-old Boy Scout, Javier Aguirre is giving back to the community and his former grade school, Temple Heights Elementary, as he works to complete the highest rank in Scouts, the Eagle Scout. Only 1% of Boy Scouts earn the highest rank in Scouting and they must undergo a lengthy process that show leadership and service in their community.
Javier began in Scouts at age 8 and becoming an Eagle Scout has been a goal since the beginning. Part of acquiring that rank is a community service project. “I want to do something more than any other Eagle Scout would do.” explained Javier, “I want to make an impact. I want to get the community to come together to impact people lives, children’s lives.”
He wants to build an outdoor reading area for students at the school. “I always had a hard time reading. I want to build a space where students can go and read, do activities in and motivate kids to want to read. It will be outside so they won’t be in one area the whole time they are in school.” said Javier. “I would like the teachers to have that option, to take the kids outside and get them motivated to read more.”
Javier brought the idea to his former third grade teacher and now the school’s Principal, Kim Morton “Javier has brothers and sisters who go to school here so he has a vested interest in our school.” said Mrs. Morton, “His whole family has been very active in our school so this project was a natural fit for them. To come to a place that has been kind of a second home to the family, I think it’s a great idea to bring something here.” continued Mrs. Morton, “Our staff is very supportive of the project and building more outdoor spaces is something we are working on.
“The idea to do this at Temple Heights was all his even though we are very active with the school.” said Javier’s father, Mario, “He is the first of our five kids and he is highly self motivated. He has the guts to walk in anywhere and achieve a goal.”
Javier is working with Harvard graduate and MiraCosta College professor, David Parker on the design which has undergone several changes. The original idea was for a gazebo but the plans for the reading area are evolving as Javier is learning how to deal with bureaucratic red tape. “When Javier came to us with the project, we were all excited saying; Great, let’s do this. Let’s make this happen but in education, there are rules and procedures that need to be followed. I think this has all been part of the learning process for Javier.”, said the schools assistant-Principal, Kerry Perez. The first design would have had to go to the State for approval “and that can take years.”
Javier is raising money for the project several ways. One is through a GoFundMe webpage and another is the ‘Green Bracelet Campaign’.
The bracelets have ”Javier’s Eagle 2016″ embossed on them and cost $5 each. Anyone who buys a bracelet is invited to take a picture of themselves wearing it and send the photo to him. He will put it in a collage that will be framed and will be shown at his Eagle court of honor.
Javier has gone around to local fire stations and the Oceanside Police Department to raise money and collect photos of the firefighters and police officers wearing their green bracelets. He was recently honored at OPD and presented a coin in recognition of his service to the community by Lieutenant Valdovinos. He was also was recruited by Chief McCoy to join the department but it wasn’t a hard sell. Javier plans on joining the OPD explorer program just as soon as he turns sixteen, later this year.
Javier has meetings set with Oceanside City Council members along with the Mayor in an effort to gain support for his project that he hopes to have completed by the time the fall semester begins.
To follow the projects progress, visit JaviersEagleProject. To donate via GoFundMe click [here]. To purchase a Green Bracelet call 562-453-9757. If you are not local, he will mail it to you.
Javier hopes to raise $4,000.00 for the project and any money left over from buying supplies will be used to purchase books for the schools library.